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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Thousands of Iraqi Christians flee to Kurdish areas of northern Iraq

US Secretary Jhon Kerry and Saudi King Abdullah
Thousands of Iraqi Christians flee to Kurdish areas of northern Iraq

UNHCR spokesman said the majority of Christians are estimated at 10,000 people, fled to the Kurdistan region safer.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) reported that thousands of people from the Christian community who are the majority in an Iraqi town near Mosul, to escape this week, because violence committed militant Islamic insurgents.

Islamist insurgent mortar attack in the city reported Qaraqosh Wednesday (25/6), the local Christian community panicked and forced them to flee. A city of 50,000 people located 50 kilometers southeast of Iraq's second largest city, Mosul.

ISIS armed forces, Sunni Muslim militant group, took over the city two weeks ago of a Shiite-run government. UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming said most Christians are estimated at 10,000 people, fled to the Kurdistan region safer.

"They go by bus, car and taxi to the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq on Wednesday night. Much of them are women and children, who had sought refuge in the house of family, friends, school, and community centers, particularly in Irbil. they told us, they fled in haste without carrying their belongings. So, it shows how great their fear, "he said.

Fleming said that UNHCR and the local voluntary workers have been distributing basic goods, such as blankets, mattresses, plastic sheets and hygiene devices to the refugee camps.

Approximately 300,000 Iraqis of Mosul in Ninewa province and surrounding areas, arriving in the Kurdistan region since al-Qaeda splinter group controls Mosul. Fleming said the recent evacuation of complicating the already underprivileged. He said there is a lack shelter and fuel.

UNHCR spokesman told VOA that the Christians fled of their own accord, not because they are being targeted.

A woman from the city of Mosul in areas where the population is majority Christian told VOA, that the condition is very bad since ISIS took power.

"All change" he said. "Since 15 days ago, we did not feel safe, do not have electricity and water. Everyone is afraid of ISIS and unpaid wages as well."

However, the condition of a number of people who fled to Irbil is also no better. UNHCR reported that his staff visited the school as the place for hundreds of refugees, not finding a bathroom or air conditioning to protect them from the heat. Aid workers say the refugees living in the classrooms during the day where temperatures can exceed 40 degrees Celsius.

U.S. Secretary Discuss Sunni extremists in Iraq with Saudi king

John Kerry also met the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, in an attempt to raise the region's unity against ISIS.

Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday (27/6) meets with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, to discuss how to deal with Sunni extremists who have taken over parts of Iraq and Syria.

Kerry met in Paris Thursday with foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, in an attempt to raise the region's unity against ISIS or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Splinter group of al-Qaeda was believed to be receiving a lot of funds from Sunni sources in the Persian Gulf countries are against the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shiite-led.

U.S. officials said the Arab diplomat did not offer military aid to the government of Maliki. But Washington hopes the Arab countries could use their influence over Iraq's Sunni militias to help fight the ISIL.

The meeting came as Washington considered the military option in Iraq. The White House is considering air strikes, but has closed the possibility of sending troops to Iraq, where the last American troops were withdrawn in 2011.

The White House is sending 300 military advisers to help stop the forward movement ISIS Baghdad. Most of the troops arrived Thursday. American also flew 30 to 35 reconnaissance flight in space Iraq.  VOA

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